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The Dark is Rising (The Dark is Rising Sequence) Paperback – October 1, 1999


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 920L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books; Reprint edition (October 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689829833
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689829833
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (241 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,978 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"When the Dark comes rising, six shall turn it back,
Three from the circle, three from the track;
Wood, bronze, iron; water, fire, stone;
Five will return, and one go alone."
With these mysterious words, Will Stanton discovers on his 11th birthday that he is no mere boy. He is the Sign-Seeker, last of the immortal Old Ones, destined to battle the powers of evil that trouble the land. His task is monumental: he must find and guard the six great Signs of the Light, which, when joined, will create a force strong enough to match and perhaps overcome that of the Dark. Embarking on this endeavor is dangerous as well as deeply rewarding; Will must work within a continuum of time and space much broader than he ever imagined.

Susan Cooper, in her five-title Dark Is Rising sequence, creates a world where the conflict between good and evil reaches epic proportions. She ranks with C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien in her ability to deliver a moral vision in the context of breathtaking adventure. No one can stop at just one of her thrilling fantasy novels. Among many other prestigious awards, The Dark Is Rising is a Newbery Honor Book and a Carnegie Medal Honor Book. (Ages 8 and older) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 5 Up-On his eleventh birthday, Will Stanton discovers he is the last of the Old Ones, dedicated to fighting the forces of evil. Will searches for the six magical signs that will be needed for the battle between the Dark and the Light. By Susan Cooper.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

More About the Author

Susan Cooper is best known for her acclaimed five-book fantasy sequence "The Dark is Rising," which won a Newbery Medal, a Newbery Honor Award, and two Carnegie Honor Awards. Born in England in 1935, she became a reporter and feature writer for the London Sunday Times--her first boss was James Bond creator Ian Fleming--before moving to the United States in 1963. Her first novels were "Mandrake" and the autobiographical "Dawn of Fear," followed by the complete Dark is Rising sequence (Over Sea, Under Stone; The Dark is Rising; Greenwitch; The Grey King; Silver on the Tree). The sequence, deeply rooted in the rich heritage of Arthurian legend and Celtic mythology, is a classic work of children's literature, still in print after 40 years. Cooper went on to write other well-received children's novels, including "Seaward," "The Boggart" and its sequel "The Boggart and the Monster," "Green Boy," "King of Shadows," and "Victory," as well as several picture books for young readers with illustrators such as Ashley Bryan and Warwick Hutton. She has also written books for adults, as well as plays and Emmy-nominated screenplays (some in collaboration with her second husband, the actor Hume Cronyn). Recent books include the collaborative project "The Exquisite Corpse Adventure" and her biography of Jack Langstaff titled "The Magic Maker." Her latest young adult novel is "Ghost Hawk." Ms. Cooper lives in Marshfield MA. Visit her on Facebook or on her website at www.thelostland.com.

Customer Reviews

Love this book, have been reading and rereading, this series for years now.
grizzlysmit
It is one of those books you want to start reading over again as soon as you put it down - adults too.
Sir Furboy
I read it as an adult and think adults will enjoy the series more than children.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 75 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on December 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
I read this series as a child and I remember having a little difficulty with it at the time. Certainly the books in the series "The Dark Is Rising" are excellent, but they are often prone to long lengthy descriptions that ably bore initially interested children. In this particular case, I suspect I skimmed long sections of this book when I grew bored of its long descriptive passages. The books themselves are complex. It did not surprise me that the author, Susan Cooper studied under J.R.R. Tolkien (of "Lord of the Rings" fame), and I would hasten to add that she, far more than Phillip Pullman, is his current successor. She weaves British and Celtic myth within her stories, beautifully. This book itself is a good one, rare in its kind because the protagonist (your typical pre-adolescent who learns of great powers) has a happy home life and two parent household. I can think of almost no other fantasy series where this is the case. Usually if the child DOES have two parents, one is missing and must be rescued. Not so here. Will has his own adventures and, at the same time, people he cares about who care for him. In this book there is no bully to be defeated or difficulties at school. The Dark and Light characters are well drawn and there is a depth to each and every character that I appreciate. On the whole, I would recommend these books to those kids who are adept readers. Definitely the child who has single-handedly finished a "Lord of the Rings" book will zip through this series with few problems. Harry Potter fans may also wish to graduate to a higher level with this story. Readers may wish to start with the first book in this series, "Over Sea, Under Stone", before moving on to "The Dark Is Rising".
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70 of 77 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 17, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Susan Cooper has yet to equal "The Dark is Rising," the second book of her classic Dark is Rising Sequence. Independent of the first book "Over Sea Under Stone," this is also darker, more magical, more intense, and one of the most beautifully written fantasy novels in existance.

Will Stanton is an ordinary boy, until his Midwinter eleventh birthday. On that day, he ventures out into a seemingly changed world. There, he encounters a sinister Dark Rider, then a beautiful white horse that leads him to a hidden place, where he finds two of the Old Ones -- the mysterious Lady and Merriman Lyon, one of the stars of the previous book. The Old Ones are immortal, powerful, wise, and it turns out that Will is the last one born.

And as an astonishingly cold winter settles over England, Will is taught some of the ways of the Old Ones, who fight the Dark (forces of evil, like the Dark Rider). He has one of the signs of power, but must get them all: Iron, Bronze, Stone, Wood, Fire and Water. And he must contend with the Dark Rider, his own failings, and a mysterious stranger whose future is inextricably entwined with his...

Susan Cooper is at her peak here. Will Stanton's adventures have a sense of unreal mystery and magic about them, where the slightest actions can have significance, time is easily manipulated, and two kinds of reality intersect. Welsh mythos and legend is interwoven more deeply here, including hints of the Arthurian tilt that was featured more prominently in "Over Sea, Under Stone." At the same time, Cooper accurately displays a more human side of Will, the side that is deeply attached to his family and home.

Her writing also becomes much more detailed here.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
The Dark Is Rising sequence is an absolutely wonderful collection of books! I first read them when I was in about the 5th grade, and loved them then. I checked them out again at the library this year, in my eighth grade year, and fell in love with them all over again. I loved the way that Susan Cooper based the book on Celtic and English legends and stories, and I think that that gave the books a lot of life. After I read these books, I wanted to be an Old One. I seriously did, and after I realized that that probably wasn't going to happen, I decided that I could just keep the Light inside of me and help people out. I know, I know, I sound ridiculous, but some books just affect me in a way, and this sequence did. These are classic good against bad books, with a different twist that makes them unique.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Michele L. Worley on January 7, 2006
Format: Audio Cassette
Only the last book of the series includes all six of its main characters. This book introduces the fifth of the six, Will Stanton, to Merriman; the Drews from OVER SEA, UNDER STONE don't return until GREENWITCH, nor do the consequences of the events of their first quest begin coming home to roost until then. Like every book of this series, THE DARK IS RISING is a stand-alone work as well as part of the greater story, and opens in such a way that the viewpoint character - however much knowledge he may possess when fully conscious of his role in the ongoing conflict - provides an "everyman" viewpoint, that at once serves to illustrate the contrast between the surface of present day reality and the magical depths of the ancient war between the Light and the Dark, and to bring the reader up to speed with the story so far.

Will, like the Drews, is very young and at first completely ignorant of the great struggle between the Light and the Dark, though his position in that ancient warfare and the quest he must achieve in this story are quite different from theirs. On the face of things, he is even less connected with the magical world than they, as the youngest child of a large Buckinghamshire family without any arcane scholars in the family tree. But on the Midwinter's Eve on which this story opens, Will notices that strange things are beginning to happen around him: radios give off huge bursts of static when he passes by, and animals behave unusually. Worst of all, when he and his brother witness a bizarre attack by birds on a strange tramp, Will finds that his brother's memory of the incident has been completely wiped away almost as soon as it happened.
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